December 9, 2011
Yes, and here are three reasons to keep up that critical communication.
Must be the weather change, but I’ve been asked this question several times over the last week, which is enough to interrupt the calendar for a special blog of my own. The rationale for not starting or not maintaining a blog is fairly straightforward:
- Takes too much time
- Already too much online clutter
- No one reads them
Other than the first item (see idea below), I couldn’t agree more — when you think about this from the perspective of the general internet population. But that’s the wrong logic. Read the rest of this entry »
March 22, 2010
5 tips for improving customer service quality
I just finished up an interesting engagement, helping a professional services firm evaluate and optimize their sales and marketing activities. Dealing with their existing advertising and marketing partners was quite an eye-opening experience. I don’t use absolutes that often (I’m in marketing after all), but overall this was the absolute worst customer service I’ve ever experienced. At this point, let’s call these companies “vendors” because they are order-takers at best. Read the rest of this entry »
November 25, 2009
5 ways to overcome that blank page.
There it is. You’re staring at an empty Word doc or blank sheet of paper. You know that you need to get something written now. Your [clients/prospects/audience] are expecting a new [newsletter/white paper/seminar/blog]. Since you read my blog, you know that it needs to create value in the minds of your audience. You want it to be a clear, succinct message. You may even have a topic in mind. Other than that, you’re clueless. Hey look, someone just wrote on my Facebook wall… Read the rest of this entry »
October 22, 2009
A new spin on “green” marketing – 10 tips.
I keep on pushing value-added content in my posts, so today let’s talk about how to get the most value for your effort. I know what you’re thinking. “Dave, you’re the most amazing marketer we’ve ever met. Where do we send the check?” Or not…
You’re more likely wondering how you can develop enough content to showcase your knowledge and distance your company from the competition. Today’s blog assumes that you can come up with at least one great idea, topic, noteworthy item, case study, survey, data point, result, etc. that offers something of value to clients and prospects. If not, take this week off and I’ll try to address content creation next.
Now think about how you can get more miles per content gallon by “recycling” that content into different formats and media, and modifying the message to appeal to different audiences. Without any new ideas, you’ll have a variety of new tools to address more prospect requests for specific knowledge – that’s a very good thing.
Here are 10 ideas for extending your message, kind of like Hamburger Helper for your content:
- White paper – this can become the central repository for all the information you’re trying to communicate.
- Executive summary – a simple, single-page document that provides a 1 minute overview and conclusion.
- Webinar – record a 30-minute online presentation. Include it in your newsletter, and store it on your website for easy access.
- Panel discussion – have some of your clients to discuss the topic in a moderated forum. Keep it simple, with a pre-planned Q&A format.
- Seminar – combine 3 and 4, and you have a potential topic for a trade conference. They love real company examples, and vendors who don’t pitch. You’re in.
- Forum – if you are communicating a hot issue, create an online forum/group to host ongoing discussion. You get to moderate. Or share your knowledge in existing forums.
- 10 Tips – just like this blog. Pull out 5 or 10 key bullets and build a one-pager to highlight them.
- Article – pitch a brief outline to trade publications for an article. Try a Top 10 list.
- Audience specific – now tweak the message to add industry and functional buzzwords. A CFO may consider the cost implications of your topic, where the CEO may consider shareholder impact of the exact same topic. Appeal to both.
- Update – depending on the topic, produce a Version 2 with new information next month or year. Own the topic long-term.
Another advantage of recycled content is that your sales team will have additional tools that they can pull out of their bags. For example, some more analytical prospects will appreciate a detailed white paper. Others will appreciate the 1-minute summary. Remember to leave the sales pitch out, or at least isolate it from the core message. The reader/participant will appreciate you more as a knowledgeable source of information. There’s time to sell later.
I’m sure there are many more ways to keep your content fresh and out of the landfill, but I’m out of time. Please share your ideas and I’ll add them to the list.
If you can’t measure it, don’t do it!